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About Theatre Raleigh | Hot Summer Nights

Bringing intimate professional theatre to Downtown Raleigh

Hot Summer Nights at The Kennedy began in the summer of 2005 in an effort to bring a smaller and more intimate professional theatre to Downtown Raleigh. By having a strong group of producers who each have an extensive background in the arts, we are able to share an array of shows with our audiences by combining some of the best talent from both North Carolina and New York. From musicals to comedies to thought provoking dramas, Hot Summer Nights is proud to continue the excellence of bringing you our critically acclaimed summer series. Join us! The Heat is On!

“Going to a performance at Hot Summer Nights is like being on the 50-yard line or sitting behind home plate. There is not a bad seat in the house, and you are delightfully close to wonderful voices and superb acting.”  Doris Click

Lauren Kennedy, Artistic Director

At HSN, she has directed Drift, True West and Romance Romance as well as starred in Tell Me On A Sunday and last years breakout hit Violet (Indy Week’s Best of 2011). On Broadway she starred as Lady Of The Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot, Daisy Hilton in Side Show, Fanitine in Les Miserables, and Sunset Blvd with Glenn Close. Off-Broadway: Mary in Vanitites and Good Ol’ Girls. London: Trevor Nunn’s RNT revival of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush. New works and Premieres: The Ten Commandments opposite Val Kilmer, Waiting For The Moon (Barrymore Award Nom.), The Rhythm Club (Helen Hayes Nom), White Christmas, and The Last Five Years. Her debut solo album Lauren Kennedy Songs Of Jason Robert Brown and her second album, Here And Now are both available on PS Classics.

Michele Weathers, Managing Director

From 1991 to 2005, Michele was the Associate Producer at North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. NYÐOff-B’way: Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp (Company Manager); Orson’s Shadow by Austin Pendleton (Assoc. General Manager); Eliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, by Quiara Alegria Hudes (General Manager for Page 73). In 2005, she joined R. Erin Craig at La Vie Productions; a New York based company that is dedicated to managing, developing and producing new works for theatre, film and music. Current projects include: The Sphinx Winx (Off-B’way, May 2011); and LIBERTY, A Monumental New Musical (Fall 2011). Some recent credits include: General and Production Management for the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2008 and 2009 and In The Heights (Workshop & Off-B’way). Upcoming: 100 Years Into The Heart (a new musical; dir. Lynne Taylor Corbett). Michele has returned to Raleigh where she lives with her husband, Todd Michel Smith, and their daughter, Peyton Rose.


Chris Bernier, Technical Director

Chris is always excited to be working with Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, having previously designed the past two summers.  Chris is the full time Technical Director for the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theater at Barton College.  At Barton Chris designed the scenery and lighting for the world premieres of Drift and Afric’s Muse as well as designing Macbeth, DroodWaiting for Godot and No Exit.  He most recently created the set design for Evita for NCT which played this past October in Raleigh.  Chris received his BFA and MFA in design from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he was a 4-year Trustee Scholar. Thanks to his wife Delaina and daughter Susannah for their love and support.


 Morgan Parpan, Development Coordinator




Thanks to our 2014 Sponsors!

The Dilweg Companies (Parade)
Summit Hospitality Group (Other Desert Cities)
Electric Supply Company
Captive Aire, Inc
Synergy Spa
Barton College
CT Weekends
DNJ Mortgage
Michael Kennedy
Raymond James
Summit Hospitality Group
Triangle Securities
Weston Banks Wealth Partners
Theo Davis Printing